Airline consultant Terry Trippler says aging fleets are one reason airfares haven't come down at U.S. carriers, despite the sharp drop in oil prices. Trippler says the airlines need to buy new planes, in addition to spending millions of dollars to upgrade the GPS systems in existing aircraft. In addition, although oil prices appear low today, no one is sure where they are headed in the future. "The airlines, like the rest of the country, are bracing for the worst and taking prudent steps to stabilize revenue," Air Transport Association CEO James May wrote in a letter to the Senate.

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